Radical Spenser

Radical Spenser

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This book provides a radical reading of Edmund Spenser and argues for a re-orientation in Renaissance criticism. It begins by critiquing the new historicist hegemony in Spenser studies, and, through a series of detailed readings, proposes alternative strategies for interpreting the texts of this pivotal Renaissance author which include a politicised a€˜new aestheticisma€™, eco-criticism, and pastoral theory. Unlike most non-new historicist studies, Radical Spenserargues that Spensera€™s texts demand a reading at once political and sensitive to aesthetic surprise. Following a polemical Introduction which establishes Spensera€™s centrality to key problems in contemporary Renaissance studies, Richard Chamberlain shows that William Empsona€™s ideas about pastoral are vital for an understanding of Spenser and early modern literature. The following chapters discuss Spensera€™s use, in The Shepheardes Calender, of a distinctively a€˜pastorala€™ logic to problematise the relationship between literature and criticism; the ways in which this method informs The Faerie Queene; the approach, in the central books of the epic, to textual and state authority; and the final booksa€™ exploration of political experience. Finally, by demonstrating the complexity of the critically neglected prose treatise A View of the State of Ireland, the book offers an eco-critical perspective on Spensera€™s place in the natural and cultural environments of sixteenth-century Ireland.Key Features* Theoretical intervention encouraging debate and analysis in Renaissance studies.* Close analysis of key passages offers a new understanding of how Spensera€™s writing works.* Broad coverage including readings of Spensera€™s major poems and his prose dialogue on Ireland.Critical Problems The Shepheardes Calender, 1 Spensera#39;s first major work, has received much less attention from professional critics than The Faerie Queene. It has a strangeness of form, style and genre which has contributed to its relativeanbsp;...

Title:Radical Spenser
Author:Richard Chamberlain
Publisher:Edinburgh University Press - 2005


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